Introducing WIP Wednesday!

A writer I follow, Bryn Dononvan, does this thing on her blog called WIP Wednesday. It’s so much fun–and I get so much out of reading about other people’s process–that I’ve decided to give it a whirl here. I decided the first Wednesday of each month would be ideal.

Here’s how to play. I’m going to post a snippet from my WIP, Ghost of a Chance. It’s the second in the Redclaw Security series and is another standalone featuring Casey Barnes, a wolf shifter and former Redclaw agent, and Sarah Atwell, a young woman with a big secret in her past. Both she and Casey are snowed in at her grandmother’s horse farm, bequeathed to Sarah with conditions.Strange accidents raise red flags for Casey, especially as the incidents escalate in seriousness.

I’m going to post my excerpt here below. I invite you to share a little something about your WIP and post a snippet in the comments as well. Let’s keep the excerpts to around 500-600 words and please, let’s remember these are WIPs! No one expects it to be perfect–we all know these are rough drafts.

Here’s the thing–the more people who play along, the more fun it is. I love reading about what other people are working on, and adore getting a little snapshot into someone else’s world. Please share with anyone you think would like to play–all genres are welcome with some caveats: please, no explicit sex scenes and no graphic horror or violence. I don’t have an issue with those types of stories but it would be hard to police for trigger warnings, etc. And if your snippet might be potentially triggering for whatever reason, please warn for it. My thought is people from all walks of life will be dropping in to read and share. I don’t want anyone accidentally stumbling across something they’d rather not see.

Okay, here goes!

Casey shot her a piercing glance. After a beat, he said, “Oh, come on. I can’t believe you didn’t know your dad was teasing. You’re gorgeous. You know that right?”

Heat rushed into her cheeks, prickly and uncomfortable. “That’s very kind of you to say. But I grew up hearing how ugly I was, so it’s hard for me to accept compliments now. There’s always an element of ‘what do you want?’ when someone praises my looks. Before I met Simon, my mother said it was a good thing I was smart because no man was going to come along and take care of me. And as a teenager, she told me I would have to work twice as hard to make friends because I was doubly handicapped.”

She’d spoken without thinking, but it wasn’t until she saw the crease form between Casey’s eyes that she realized she’d have to explain. “Because of the glasses and… and the braces, I mean.”

Not because she was a secret shifter.

“That’s nuts.” The slight tick of Casey’s mouth indicated his disapproval. “And they were wrong.”

“I don’t know.” She gave a short laugh. “You should see the pictures of me as a kid.”

“I have. June has dozens of them all over the house. All I’ve ever seen was a horse-crazy girl who was delighted with life because she was in her element. The joy just shines out of your face in those photos. You were beautiful then and you’re beautiful now.”

“Joy doesn’t shine out of my face these days.”

I’m not bitter. Don’t sound bitter.

“Well, it should. Because nothing suits you better.” Casey finished off the last of his sandwich as though he’d won his point and there was nothing more to say.

“Thank you.” The need to squirm and protest against his words was strong, but she forced herself to sit still and accept them without qualifications or self-deprecation. Her only recourse was to change the subject. “What about you and your family? Are you close?”

Without moving a muscle, he seemed to withdraw. “It’s all good. We have a pretty tight relationship over the phone. Sometimes I think it’s hard for my dad to see me like this.” He tilted his hand toward his amputated leg.

“Parents can’t always be objective when it comes to their children.”

Casey snorted. “You can say that again.”

“The lesson got a renewal earlier today. My mother was quite clear losing Simon was my fault.”

Casey had been in the process of stacking his bowl on his plate but his gaze snapped up. “Okay, for starters you didn’t “lose” Simon.” He made finger quotes as he spoke. “That makes him sound like a pair of gloves or a cocker spaniel. Simon is a grown-ass man who decided to cheat on you. That’s totally different.”

The thought of Simon as a pampered show dog made her snort. “Yeah, but the relationship couldn’t have been healthy or it wouldn’t have happened. At least part of it has to be my fault. My mom would have me believe it was all my fault, however.”

“There are a lot of reasons why people cheat. I don’t hold with it myself. My family takes commitments seriously.”

There’d been an odd hesitation before he’d said the word family, as though he’d been about to say something else. Before she could question it, he went on. “I can see where someone might be desperately unhappy and seek comfort in the wrong place, but you don’t try to have to have your cake and eat it too. You man up, admit you’ve made a mistake, and end one relationship or the other. Not only did Simon not do that, but he stole from you as well. So you don’t really think this was all your fault, do you?”

Sarah gave a little shrug. “I suppose on some level I do, otherwise it wouldn’t hurt so much.”

Right. There you are. Now it’s your turn! 

14 thoughts on “Introducing WIP Wednesday!

  1. I really enjoyed the way you let us in on Sarah’s vulnerabilities and insecurities in a way that’s easily relatable. I think we’ve all sometimes felt like that person. I also enjoyed seeing how Casey’s optimism takes a slight downward turn when he has to reflect inward. I loved reading this excerpt, thank you for sharing!

  2. Carnival of Love
    Last night of carnival week Mags and her bff Sass are meeting family and friends to hang out for one last night. Mags has a secret crush on Sass’s older brother and basically a brother to Mags, too.

    This is a short story for The Summer Heat Anthology and a prequel to book 1 in the Highfalutin Series i’m going to be starting real soon.

    “I see nothing has changed, always the first one in the fry line.” A male voice says practically right into my left ear.

    Oh my god. That voice instantly makes my knees weak and my tummy tighten and no other man ever had me instantly reacting like this. Musky male sounds so clique to say how he smells, but it’s the god honest truth. This man could make any girls panties drop with his own natural smell and husky voice.

    I have daydreamed about this moment for a while now and in those dreams, I take what I want. Grab him up, pull him close, and kiss him like I’ve never kissed a man before. All the while telling him all my deep dark secrets of lust that have been building over time for him and seriously how much I miss him. It seriously has been a long time since we’ve really hung out together and not at a family function.

    “Mags?” Maybe I’ll act like I didn’t hear him. Stand here hoping this line moves forward and act out, “seriously?” Now there is a finger jabbing into my rib cage. Trying to push his hand away and not giggle has me fully facing him and both my hands on his forearms.

    “What is your problem, dude?” Trying to still play the I didn’t know card. “Is it cool now to just go up to a girl and start poking them from behind?” Raising an eyebrow at him.

    The playful gleam is now gone from his eyes and is replaced with shock and a little bit of guilt, but now I can feel the shock on my face because looking at this man is like looking at a stranger. He has hair literally everywhere on his face and head. When he figured out how to use shavers a long time ago that was it for him. Del always wanted to portray the badass, but his personality never really let it take over. Of course, situations arose over time that would allow cocky anger to come out, but once it was over that was it.

    “Sorry Mags, I really thought you saw me coming over to you. I swear you looked right at me. You know I don’t just poke anyone,” pausing for my response. “Seriously you alright. I know it’s been a minute since we’ve seen each other, but we are still friends, right?”

    “What? Oh, yeah friends we’ll always been friends.” What the hell did I say? His new looks have me speechless right now. I want to touch his face so bad, but I’m pretty sure that’s frowned upon to do to someone you haven’t seen in probably almost a year or so.

    Damn, a year or longer. That can’t be, but I’m pretty sure that last time we interacted face to face was last summer or so. Then it was mostly niceties and then hanging in the bigger group together. ©AE Gamrat

  3. Well, as usual Ms McKenna, you’ve succeeded in pulling me into your world, thank you.
    You have a talent for making even a simple conversation over a meal full of emotional intensity, vulnerability, and a touch of sexual tension. Can’t wait to read more.

  4. My WiP is the second of four Movie Star Romances, titled LIMELIGHT BLUES. It follows the highs and lows of Adam Chase, star of a scifi blockbuster trilogy whose contract has expired with the third movie now released. Despite knowing this day would come, he’s at a loss as to what is next both career wise and in his love life. A continuous parade of starlets warming his bed isn’t something he wants any more. When his friend and co-star, Jacob, convinces Adam to take some time before making any decisions, he takes a road trip north that ends up leading him into the arms of his past…

    Adam woke to the feel of wet silk plastered to his face and the knowledge he’d drooled in his sleep. His mouth felt like something crawled in and died; throat dry from sleeping the slack-jawed sleep of the drunk and satiated. He gave a disdainful snort only to groan as shards of pain cleaved their way through his skull to embed themselves in the backs of his eyeballs.

    He didn’t remember much. Eucalyptus martinis, and dark ale with aquavit chasers, would do that.

    His leg seemed to stop at the knee, which didn’t make a whole lot of sense since he was sure it’d still been attached when he crashed sometime before dawn. He rolled onto his back, both to avoid the wet spot on his pillow, and to test the evaporated-leg theory. Moving was harder than it should’ve been.

    “Too early.” A husky feminine voice complained from the level of his hip.

    “Sorry.” Adam apologized for no other reason than it seemed the polite thing to do when jostling the stranger sleeping in his bed, even if he didn’t remember how they got there. “I just need…”

    He shifted free at the same time as the woman rolled onto her other side. The swarm of pins-and-needles surging from toes to groin confirmed the existence of his second leg.

    Adam cursed and hobbled his way across the shagpile rug to the open bedroom door. He needed to piss but reaching the bathroom would be a mission of epic proportions. The vast open-plan living space with its floor-to-ceiling windows which gazed out over the Pacific Ocean was a disaster zone.

    His manager, Christian, slept on a naked blond, his bearded face smooshed between her thighs, while a brunette with a pair of truly stunning breasts on display used his bare ass as a pillow. Her long legs hooked over the back, and one arm of his eight-seater cream leather sofa. If he’d been in better condition Adam would’ve woken her with a tit-sucking and fingering she’d thank him for by sucking off his morning wood. There was nothing like starting the day with a blowjob.

    He scrunched over spilled bar snacks and an escapee sushi roll that squished between his toes, making him squeal like a token victim in one of his films. When he reached the guest bath, he realized he could’ve saved himself the trouble if he’d just stumbled left into his ensuite.

    It was a surprise to discover the bathroom in pristine condition, its white marble countertop and tiled floor just as his housekeeper left it the day before. The couple going at it behind the glass doors of his deluxe multi-jet shower was a bonus.

    Adam lifted the toilet lid and relieved himself with a grateful sigh; the couple oblivious to his presence. As he washed his hands Adam took a moment to appreciate how hot they looked. The woman’s breasts pressed against the glass, her neck arched back as the guy pounded her from behind, fist caught in the slick ropes of her blond hair.

    • Oh man, you’ve captured the decadence–and loneliness–of the glamorous life so well here! Your deep POV for Adam pulled me right in as well–you had me hooked! Now I want to know what comes next for Adam as well, and if this life is really want he wants anymore. (And I have to go check out the first in the series too!!)

      • *GRINS* That’s the best feedback I could wish for, thank you! Now if I could just get past the part I seem to be stuck on – much further on than this snippet – the end might be sight. If you do read Limelight and Longing, I’d love to hear what you thought x

        • *makes note to add Limelight and Longing to the TBR list*

          Well, if you ever want to bounce ideas off me, feel free to run them past me. Who knows, I might help you get past your stuck area–though my usual solution to something like that is to blow it up or set it on fire. 🙂

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